A look at the area teams before Christmas
With only a few games left before Christmas, here’s a quick look at some of my teams in Brookfield, Tosa and New Berlin.
Coach Dan Wandrey’s Brookfield Central squad is 6-0, 3-0 in the Greater Metro Conference, tied with Menomonee Falls (6-1 overall).
The Lancers are a 3-point shooting team, which starts three talented underclassmen – sophomore guards Gage (G-Money) Malensek and Cole Nau and junior guard Andres (The Giant) Peralta-Werns.
Seniors Sam Rohde, one of the team leaders and a dead-eye 3-point shooter, and Chris Post (7.8 rebounds) round out the starters.
But Central has plenty of depth topped by juniors Charlie Debbink and Jack Brady.
Wandrey is looking for his first boys title after winning several as the girls coach.
Wauwatosa West has as much physical talent as any of my former teams.
Seniors Alou Dillon (18.3 points), Se’veon James (11.3), Tyrone Powell (10.4) and LaRon Perine (10.4) give them four players who average double figure points.
They are 5-2, with losses to Woodland Conference rival New Berlin Eisenhower (59-56) and the aea’s top-ranked Milwaukee Vincent team (87-72). Poor free throw shooting and turnovers did them in in their losses.
Four players average over 5 rebounds per game – Jaravee Jackson (8.4), Dillon (7.6), Powell (6.2) and John Frank (5.2).
But unless the Trojans play better defense, learn to avoid the pressure and improve on their half-course offense, they will not reach their potential.
WORKING ON IT
Eisenhower (3-3, 2-2) and Wauwatosa East (2-3, 1-1) have talent, but are still working things out and New Berlin West (3-3, 1-3) and Brookfield East (2-3, 1-2) are showing improvement over last year’s squads.
BEST OF THE BEST
New Berlin Eisenhower – The defending state champion Lady Lions reside in the Woodland West and they are off to a fine start with a 6-1 record and a 5-0 mark in the conference play.
This is a different Ike team, still playing good defense, but attacking more so from the perimeter behind sophomore Julia Hintz (11.3 pts, 5.1 assists 2.3 steals) and junior Kate Ludwig (9.9 pts).
Junior Hannah Plockelman (8.9 pts, 7.3 rebs), a 5-foot-11 inch forward, and senior Jasmyn Somarsingh (7.1 pts, 5.1 rebs) a 6-1 forward, handle the inside game for coach Gary Schmidt.
Juniors Olivia Canady and Alicia Putney, senior Abby Szukalski and 6-2 freshman Erin Hedman are just some of the players Schmidt can call on because the Lady Lions are extremely deep.
New Berlin West – New coach Collin Thompson and old coach-new assistant Jef Radtke are one of my top two teams to watch. The Lady Vikings have always played outstanding defense in the past and this year is no different.
Now add to that the scoring of juniors Alyssa (Chubby) Nelson (16.8) and Maddie Fritz (7.2) and seniors Morgan Henrichs (7.0) and Ewelina Schlomann (8.0) and you can see why the Lady Vikings are 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Woodland West.
Brookfield East – Coach Michael Goodman’s team is 6-2, 3-1 in the Greater Metro Conference, losing to Menomonee Falls, 50-47. The Lady Spartans have no seniors on the team, so the best is yet to come.
Molly Devalkenaere, a 6-0 junior forward, leads the way (13.9 pts, 7.9 rebs, 23 blocks) and has help underneath from multi-sport star Lizzy Cagle.
Cagle, a 6-0 junior, is an outstanding volleyball player and excels in the field events (shot put, discus) in track & field. She averages 8.4 pts and 7.4 rebs per game and gives the Lady Spartans two tough inside players.
But East has an outside arsenal as well in Emma Ralfs, a 5-11 junior guard (12.1 pts, 4.1 rebs, 3.6 steals, 2.4 assists), Adriana Plavsic, 5-10 junior guard (7.1 pts, 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds) and Nikki Pink, a 5-4 junior guard (5.8 pts, 12 3-pointers).
Wauwatosa East – Sophomore Brooklyn Blackburn (15.9 pts) and senior Johanna Taylor (8.8) have led East to a 6-2 start, but only 1-2 in Greater Metro Conference play.
Coach Rob Hamell has depth and talent with juniors Molly Persin, Mariana Ibanez-Baldor and Elizabeth Bueckers on hand.
WORKING ON IT
Wauwatosa West – West (2-5, 2-2) has shown improvement under new coach Gordon Nikolic behind senior Dasia Davis and sophomores Irene Phillips and Kayla Stoffel leading the way.
I have to have a separate category for Brookfield Central, a team that has been ripped apart by illness and injuries before and then in the first part of the season.
Coach Mallory Liebl lost junior Jenny Cape (illness) and Maddy Brauer (ACL), an outstanding sophomore forward, before the season even started.
Then in the second game of the season, Claire Haynes, one of two returning All-GMC selections, injured her back (two fractured transverse processes) and was lost for the year.
Senior captain Caroline Busch (16.7 pts, 4.7 rebs) will be asked to carry a bigger load than she was already counted on for and it will be a difficult task.
Senior Ellery Nordling has picked up the rebounding load (5.9 pts, 5.5 per game) along with 6-foot freshman Anna Mortag (7.6 pts, 4.3 rebs). Senior Amanda Miller tops the team in assists (2.2) and steals (2.0), but there is some drop off in talent after that.
It is a tough break since the Lancers were favored to win the GMC, but will now struggle to finish above .500.
The guts of this team’s talent has been ripped right out, but Liebl will have her team ready to play every game and the effort will be there.
It will be interesting to see what the results are.